Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling on D&C: 'Nothing has worked out' for Red Sox

May 27, 2015 - 6:40 am
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ESPN baseball analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday to talk about the state of the Red Sox and the reasons for the team's struggles. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. Schilling said that, looking at the Red Sox roster back in spring training, expectations and hopes were justifiably high. "You look at this team and said, 'They're going to score, they've got a very solid rotation of power arms,' and nothing has worked out that way," Schilling said. However, Schilling does not think that a big trade would be guaranteed to be a difference-maker for the Red Sox. He cautioned against making such a major move just for the sake of making one. "You don't want to do something at the deadline that has absolutely zero impact on you other than to give away prospects. ... Do you make a move with a Mookie Betts or a Jackie Bradley Jr. or something that brings in that ace, that Cole Hamels, and then you finish seven games under .500 and out of the playoffs?" Schilling said. Regarding the struggles of both Joe Kelly and David Ortiz, Schilling expressed frustration with Kelly's disappointing start, considering his ability to throw "98 [mph] pretty much effortlessly." "I think you can look at just this eight-week sample and realize that you should be a little concerned. ... He hasn't adjusted, and it's frustrating as hell to watch because you're talking about a guy who should be going to the All-Star Game every year, battling to win his 20th in August and looking to put some hardware on his shelf every single season, and instead you've got this nightmare," Schilling said. According to Schilling, Ortiz, 39, uses the critics and outside noise as motivation to perform better. He noted that Ortiz has had a track record of starting seasons slowly before starting to improve at the plate. However, Schilling said, "You're getting to the point in the season when it's going to be next to impossible to change that batting average by a lot." Added Schilling: "[The criticism] pisses him off. You're talking about a guy with a lot of pride who, every time people have done this to him, he's basically given you the middle finger and hit 30 [home runs] and driven in 115. The hard part is that that day comes. There's a day, maybe it's not now, maybe it's not this year, but there's a day that comes when you go to bed and you're like, 'I can't hit that pitch anymore. What am I going to do now? How do I adjust?' " Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox. On the dangers of trying to make a flashy trade or signing: "What you don't want to have happen, either at the deadline or in the offseason, is the [Carl] Crawford-[John] Lackey offseason again. Hopefully the lesson was learned that you let the baseball people do what it is that you pay them to do, because when you jump in and you say, 'Hey, let's go get the really sexy-looking car,' and you park it in the garage and open the hood and realize there's no engine in it. I think [Red Sox general manager] Ben [Cherington] has proven to be pretty good, I think, at what he does. There's a lot of Theo [Epstein] in him. They've got a plan." On the importance of having baseballs prepared a certain way: "You make your living with that little round thing. ... The challenge is that the umpires rub them up before the game. You always knew [that with the] veteran crews, you were going to get good balls and some guys are just going to spit on them and you get a pool cue." On knowing when it's time to stop playing: "I think you always know. I don't think the question is whether you're the first to know, you're always the first to know. The more important conversation is the internal one where you acknowledge it. You've got to be honest with yourself. ... I can only speak from my experience, but I felt like I got dealt four-of-a-kind in that sense that I got to play for 27 years and I got to walk away when I felt like I wanted to walk away. ... I do these Sunday nights and I keep wondering when I'm going to walk into the ballpark and say, 'My God, I miss this,' and it hasn't happened."

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